Template talk:Cmbox

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Pages that list message boxes that use the {{cmbox}}:

The {{cmbox}} template was previously named {{catbox}} and {{cambox}}, older comments on this talkpage use those names.

Name of this template?[edit]

This is the "category message box" meta-template. It works similarly to {{ambox}} (article message boxes}} and {{imbox}} (image space message boxes). So I started this template under the name {{catbox}}. My second choice was {{cambox}} but I think the word "cam" might sound too much like "camera". David Levy didn't like the name "catbox" so he moved this template to {{cmbox}}. I don't like "cmbox" since it is hard to pronounce and the name doesn't remind of "category". And yes "catbox" also has another meaning, but I know that most Wikipedians like both cats and categories.

So what should we call this template?

  • catbox
  • cambox
  • cmbox

Or something else?

--David Göthberg (talk) 21:34, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I prefer {{cmbox}} because it's consistent with {{ambox}} and {{imbox}}. I pronounce it as "C-M-box."
I love cats, but a "catbox" is a place for their feces and urine.
The name {{cambox}} is inconsistent with the others and could be more easily confused with {{ambox}}. And yes, it does remind me of cameras and photography. —David Levy 21:54, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I understand your concern with "catbox", but I think "cambox" is more memorable that "cmbox". Kelly hi! 13:14, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Incidentally, these are all mboxes (message boxes). So that eliminates catbox.
  • catembox
  • catmbox
  • cambox
  • cmbox
I think there should be a vowel, if possible, before the second consonant (t or m), so that eliminates cmbox. catmbox has a similar problem, and I think catembox is needlessly long.
I guess that leaves me supporting cambox. - jc37 14:48, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Catbox is clever, but probably not the right choice. I favor the consistent cmbox. I am not worried about pronunciation, as this is a almost exclusively a written medium. Wikipedians are free to invent their own pronunciations in their heads if it facilitates their editing. Matchups 15:21, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Support {{cmbox}} for consistency with the {{ambox}}/{{imbox}} convention. Happymelon 15:32, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • "cmbox" is preferable for consistency, though surely the intuitive "catbox" can be used as a redirect and thus a shortcut. Nihiltres{t.l} 17:56, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I also like {{cmbox}} as I'd find it easier to remember, as it follows the pattern. They can all be redirects, and we can write on the documentation that they can be used, depending on which you prefer. Many thanks, Drum guy (talk) 20:16, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
    • With a meta-template likely to be so widely used, the use of redirects has a non-negligible effect on server load. You'll notice, for instance, that {{ambox}} doesn't have any redirects to it. We should decide on one name, and stick with it. Come on, it's a bloody meta-template, how hard can it be :D Happymelon 21:05, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
      • I count 24 redirects to {{fact}}, which might be the most transcluded template on Wikipedia. We have bots to standardize them. --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 23:36, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
        • {{fact}} ranks as the 50th most used template. Ambox is used much more, so {{imbox}} might become more used than {{fact}}. Anyway, handling of all such high-risk templates should be done with care. Like using /sandbox and /testcases subpages to do the editing and testing, and then adding the new version in one single edit, thus reducing server load and reducing mistakes. --David Göthberg (talk) 01:37, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
  • I definitely favor "cmbox" for consistency over 'memorability'/pronunciation/wanting-a-vowel-for-whatever-reason. The extra letter is unnecessary, and would still function as a redirect. -CapitalQ (talk) 20:43, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Support cmbox "Catbox" is a cat toilet. {{catbox}} sounds like the name of a template about feline hygiene. On Everything2, "catbox" is a nickname for Chatterbox, the chat function. --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 23:29, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Support cmbox per David Levy and CapitalQ. Dansiman (talk|Contribs) 16:24, 8 May 2008 (UTC)


Since it came up above: Right, we should not use redirected names in the code of the message boxes that use this meta-template. That is one of the reasons why I did put this question up immediately when I realised there might be a name issue. So we should not mention the redirects in the documentation and perhaps even fix all pages that link to the redirects and then delete the redirects. I'll wait a little more before I move these pages to the name that seems to be the consensus above.

--David Göthberg (talk) 21:20, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Err, since not all the links to cambox have been updated, and since it was once at that name, it would be silly to completely delete the redirect. We can just use {{softredirect}}. -- Ned Scott 21:08, 12 May 2008 (UTC)
That's a good idea :D. Happymelon 21:16, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Background shading[edit]

I wish we could use this (or something similar, since mainspace has a nearly white page, as opposed to category pages' blue page) for the two delete options for ambox : ) - jc37 14:48, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

I am not entirely sure I understand what you mean. But the "speedy" option in {{ambox}} does have a pink background to show that it is more urgent than the "delete" option. The speedy option was added in the latest update of ambox. But that option hasn't been announced in the docs yet, since due to CSS caching in the web browsers that CSS class is not fully usable before 19 May. MediaWiki:Common.css is unfortunately set to a 30 day caching time. The speedy delete templates have instead had the pink background hard coded for several months now. When we update them to use the class instead they will be fully skinnable. You can check out the colour specification at Wikipedia:Article message boxes.
For the {{imbox}} and {{cambox}} I plan on using hard coded styles until any classes we add for them has been available for 30 days. Then we will switch over to use the classes and then those boxes will be fully skinnable too.
The article pages (main space) use full white background #FFFFFF, not just nearly white. And you are right that all other pages (such as this talkpage) use a slightly blue nuance.
--David Göthberg (talk) 15:30, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
I was merely thinking about ambox (not cambox). Sorry for the confusion. - jc37 04:35, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Deletion templates[edit]

All deletion templates (Speedy and CFD/CFM/CFR/etc.) should have pink backgrounds.

As a discussable option, perhaps the Speedy template could be differentiated by the thickness or colour of the border. But I strongly oppose the shading being changed contrary to long-standing consensus and convention. - jc37 04:33, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

I still don't understand what you mean. Which namespace are you talking about? Main (article) space or category space or several namespaces? And can you link to some of the deletion templates you are thinking of so we can see what you mean is the long standing convention?
--David Göthberg (talk) 10:16, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, first, in flipping back-n-forth between imbox and cambox, I became confused for a moment. I note now that it would appear that you are retaining the pink shading for all CfD templates, not just the speedy ones. My apologies for the confusion.
Also (for future reference):
Again, sorry for the confusion. - jc37 17:27, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Actually, there's a lot of text in the above templates. Is an icon necessary? I'm looking at Template:afd, and wondering. - jc37 18:33, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Haha, I thought those were the deletion templates you were thinking of. And oddly enough most of them currently use yellow background. But for a number of good reasons red and/or pink is used in the other namespaces and on other projects like Commons. So yes, we should use a pink background for delete and speedy as I have used in the examples on this page. Note that I made the cambox delete and speedy pink darker than it is in ambox because otherwise it didn't match the other cambox colours. But I think people will anyway instantly recognise it as the delete colour.
And yes, currently some category message boxes don't use any icons. And as you point out some perhaps are better without an icon. So I guess when we convert those category message boxes to use {{cambox}} we will simply set "image=none". Cambox already supports that parameter, just like the {{ambox}} does.
--David Göthberg (talk) 16:42, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

David's colours 3[edit]

Here are colours with higher saturation (looks clearer and happier to me). And with better contrast between the delete and move colours:

This is the one I prefer now. Sorry for all the different versions, but I am a bit slow when working with colours. So, what do you people think?

--David Göthberg (talk) 15:56, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Of the three proposals, I think these look the best (at least on my monitor). Kelly hi! 16:12, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Nice work. Hersfold (t/a/c) 17:41, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
It was a tough call, but I think I prefer these colours; "happier and clearer" is an excellent description. The greater contrast is also an asset. Waltham, The Duke of 18:15, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
Looks good, I like them. --CapitalR (talk) 20:34, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Looks good. And can always be changed later if necessary. -- Quiddity (talk) 05:37, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Agree, these look the best to me, too. --Rosiestep (talk) 16:17, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

On this bright MacBook screen, the "move" colour is barely visible from some angles, including some common viewing angles. It should probably be slightly darker. In addition, although blues are tricky, the "notice" colour appears more cyan than blue to me (and I would suggest that a "bluer" blue is preferable). In addition, I find it hard to discern the "content" and "style" types at a glance by colour alone. I hope this doesn't sound too negative - I just want to make sure that the colours are obvious to everyone. Nihiltres{t.l} 18:10, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

As a colour blind person (protanopic, i.e. no red cones), I think that the content and style colours are too close together on this version (the original colour scheme was OK). The hues need to be slightly more differentiated when you project along the neutral line. (A rough-and-ready approximation of what I see is that you ignore the "R" value in the RGB code, and make a very slight adjustment to the luminosity, so #EEEE00#00FF00 are two identical colours Bluap (talk) 01:12, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Watchlist message?[edit]

I have announced this message box standardisation effort on many talk pages and on two of the Village pumps. But I would like that more editors came here and voiced their opinions before we deploy this. So how about putting up a watchlist message? (That's a message that all editors will see on top of their watchlist for say a day or so.) After we deployed the ambox many editors said we should have made a watchlist message.

--David Göthberg (talk) 17:26, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

This is redundant... I have already answered in Template talk:Imbox. Waltham, The Duke of 23:58, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
The watchlist message is now on-line.
--David Göthberg (talk) 15:38, 4 May 2008 (UTC)


I'm having a little difficulty with exactly what this is supposed to be standardising. Can someone whip up a quick example of a message one would be likely to see on a category if this is implemented? Muchas gracias, Skomorokh 15:07, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, for instance {{CatDiffuse}} already uses about this colour scheme:
And several/most of the messages listed in Wikipedia:Template messages/Category namespace should use this style. Note that the listing there is not complete, there seems to be many more category message boxes in use. Currently some of them use the ambox styling which goes against the style guideline for article message boxes and against consensus so far.
--David Göthberg (talk) 15:20, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Ah, thank you, I think I grasp it now. Skomorokh 15:41, 4 May 2008 (UTC)


I think they all need borders (maybe 3px, a darker shade of the background) to standardise them properly. I think it would make them cleaner as well. I'll come back with some examples when I've made them...... Dendodge.TalkHelp 15:45, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

That will reduce their difference from the image-space message boxes, though... Well, before saying more, I'll wait for the examples. Waltham, The Duke of 17:01, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Could do with some refinement but...... Dendodge.TalkHelp 17:10, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

I strongly oppose this idea. That much color is overpowering. As Waltham noted, the colored borders also make the boxes look far too much like the proposed image message boxes. —David Levy 17:34, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree, this is a little too much of a good thing. Kelly hi! 17:42, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
My intention was actually to make it look like the image ones...... Dendodge.TalkHelp 19:36, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
The main purpose of creating a separate standard for each namespace is to have distinct styles (thereby providing a helpful visual cue). —David Levy 20:29, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't like Dendodge's styles, but I agree with Dendodge that we could use the same styles for both image and category message boxes. Since those two namespaces are similar. That is they are not articles, but they are often viewed by and used by the non-editing Wikipedia readers. In contrast to most of the other namespaces who are for editors.
--David Göthberg (talk) 21:05, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Still, I do not like the idea of equating them. For one thing, image space should have more colour simply to match the pages in that namespace, which have more colour anyway (an unavoidable quality of photographs, I'm afraid). Categories are little more than automatically generated link lists; it makes sense to use message boxes which are not as... "loud". And then there is the issue of space: bordered boxes would require space between them, which is not desirable in category pages, where saving space is much more important. David's Colours 3, so far supported by several editors, have the added benefit of stacking. Waltham, The Duke of 22:42, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, seeing my examples, I think DC3 looks better too. Seeing the speedy one's border right next to the ones without borders looked strange - but as it will be an uncommon occurance, and not occur for long, it's fine. And the border is important on the speedy templates. Just decided to offer an alternative...... Dendodge.TalkHelp 22:53, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
"Just decided to offer an alternative"... How insolent of you, really. You should never do that again. Who do you think you are, anyway? :-p Waltham, The Duke of 23:15, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Too simple[edit]

I hate to say it but I do not like these boxes. They are just too simple. There is no other text than the initial word. What is the reason for the simplification? Experienced people on Wiki will know what they mean but new members won't have any idea why something says "delete" "move" and such.

Vala M (talk) 15:56, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Oh, the examples here are just to show the colours and styles for the different types of message boxes. When we build actual message boxes using these styles they will of course contain the same (long) texts as before, with links to explanations and so on.
--David Göthberg (talk) 16:32, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Even experienced editors cannot read minds... :-D Waltham, The Duke of 17:04, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
…unfortunately. :p Nihiltres{t.l} 18:21, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Not necessarily. Telepathetic conversations do present some interesting archiving problems. Waltham, The Duke of 22:46, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

That's good to know. I think they are fine then if there is going to be text in them like before.

Vala M (talk) 23:17, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

I must say, I am rather confused by these template boxes. Just to be clear, we're replacing templates like {{db}} and {{cleanup}} with these simple boxes? What's the difference; why the need to replace perfectly good template messages? Mizu onna sango15/珊瑚15 02:09, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
No, we're only changing the formatting of the templates. So instead of looking like an ambox on category pages, {{db-c1}} will look like the "speedy" cmbox style below (while still having all the text and content from the {{db-c1}} template. None of the actual messages will change, only the appearance of the templates. You might want to have a look at the iconic pre/post ambox standardisation image: Image:NewbieTags.PNG - that's what article message boxes looked like before we standardised them on ambox. It's the same principle here. Happymelon 08:32, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

David's colours 4[edit]

Based on feedback from people on this page, here is a fourth colour set. The differences are really very tiny.

  • The "content" orange now is more to the red, making it differ more from "style" yellow. I don't think that helps the colour blind, but it makes the difference clearer to my eyes at least. Bluap: How does it look for you?
  • The "notice" blue now is less cyan and more blue. That made it darker to my eyes, but if I make it lighter then it starts to look greyish. Might be because we have a blue-tinted page background, thus the eyes don't see the blue anymore when it gets too light.
  • I also made the "move" purple a little darker, since Nihiltres asked for it. I think it now is slightly too dark, but anyway here it is so people can take a look.

--David Göthberg (talk) 02:19, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

The "move" colour looks much better, thanks. Nihiltres{t.l} 02:27, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
I like! Then again, I've liked all the ideas on this page (except the ones with the thick borders), so what good am I :D? Happymelon 08:33, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
I support the improvements, but please, please, no more options. I can bribe you not to post more colours, if you want to. Waltham, The Duke of 12:28, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Right, I didn't want to edit my old suggestions since that makes the comments to them unclear. But I think we should perhaps archive my old suggestions to avoid confusion? Would that be okay?
--David Göthberg (talk) 13:03, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
I could say "no" just because you have already archived them, but sure. We'll say I had authorised the archiving in advance, secretly. :-) Waltham, The Duke of 17:36, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
These are the best so far; I have nothing to suggest, let's implement! -- penubag  (talk) 03:50, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree. Any further improvement would be a Jesus-type miracle...... Dendodge.TalkHelp 11:23, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh, thanks guys! Yes, I think we are almost ready to deploy this now. The code used in {{cmbox}} was copied from {{ambox}} so it is very well tested code. But I think we should perhaps wait 1-2 days more since it is just 2 days since we put up the watchlist notice about this, and 5 days since we announced it on the Village pumps.
And I would like to write proper documentation for cmbox first to avoid confusion. If anyone feels up to it: To make the documentation is more or less just to copy from ambox and change the examples to fit for categories. The only technical difference is that cmbox currently can not be skinned since it has the styles hard coded, but the style and textstyle parameters work.
--David Göthberg (talk) 14:12, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Double border lines[edit]

Perhaps we can copy this:

table.navbox + table.navbox {
  margin-top:-1px;        /* single pixel border between adjacent navboxes (doesn't work for IE6, but that's okay) */

from navbox and add it for ambox and cmbox ? --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:34, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Firefox already has a 1px border between adjacent (am|cm|im)boxes, while IE7 has a 2px border; the difference is caused by the use of the border-collapse option. If we were to use this code, we should turn border-collapse back to "separate", and set "cellspacing=0" in the table instead. Also, we'd have to change the margin for the speedy template to be 0px like the rest on the top/bottom instead of 3px (which simplifies things slightly). I'd be in favor of this idea, as it gives the same look in Firefox and IE7 (and most likely the intended look). Mind you, I just did a quick look, so there could be some other side effects. --CapitalR (talk) 14:51, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
I just put together a test for this in {{Ambox/sandbox}} with testcases at {{Ambox/testcases}}. Add the following CSS to your monobook to get it to work:
table.ambox-sandbox + table.ambox-sandbox {
At first glance the only side effect I see is that on Firefox there is now a 1px border between stacked colored bars (there has always been this in IE). --CapitalR (talk) 15:09, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
My firefox shows a double border top and bottom...... Dendodge.TalkHelp 15:11, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
...hmmm, I was making some updates right as you posted...perhaps try making sure you're using the new CSS and clearing your cache again? (and this will only work on {{Ambox/testcases}})...It seems to work for me on Firefox 2, Safari, and IE7... --CapitalR (talk) 15:21, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
I did a test with "border-collapse:separate;" some day ago and it made it so that the "speedy" type did get the same margins in all browsers I have. So I have been thinking of trying the whole thing out with "border-collapse:separate;", just haven't had the time. If this works better and we decide to deploy it, then I suggest that we first deploy it with {{cmbox}}, not with {{ambox}}. Since no matter how much you test there often turns up some weird stuff when you deploy a template to lots of pages. And then it is better to screw up in category space than on 300,000+ articles...
--David Göthberg (talk) 19:24, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
I have now done similar testing to what CapitalR did above and tested a lot of variants. But instead of using the "+" which I believe is CSS 3.0 and not supported in all browsers I simply set the top margin to -1px. When I used "border-collapse:separate;" then that worked well in all my browsers. For the bottom border both 0px and -1px works, they cause slightly different margins in some very unusual cases. Weighing those cases I prefer to have -1px for the bottom border too, but that is more or less a matter of taste.
So to me the best code now is "border-collapse:separate; margin: -1px 10%;"
I have also tested a new way to handle imageright that now allows feeding large images to the right side. The new code is actually simpler than the old code.
See examples of all this at {{Cmbox/test1}}.
I would like know how that looks in Safari and in recent versions of Internet Explorer.
--David Göthberg (talk) 16:19, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
I took a look at your tests and they seem to work just fine in IE7 and Safari. However, there is some strangeness in Firefox when boxes of different widths are stacked (see image).
This problem is from that -1px margin-bottom. Also, I'm concerned that if an infobox or some other non-cmbox template with a border is placed directly below a cmbox, the -1px margin-bottom will cause them to overlap by 1px. Thus, I think the new design is a huge improvement over the border-collapse:collapsed version and completely agree that it should be used, but I'm in favor of margin:-1px 10% 0px 10% (i.e. 0px margin-bottom instead of -1px). --CapitalR (talk) 16:50, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
I also suggest changing the speedy margin to be margin:0px 10% 1px 10%, which will make it look right with adjacent cmboxes. The only drawback is that two adjacent speedy cmboxes will only have 1px between them instead of the current 2px (but there's very, very few pages that will require two speedy templates at the same time, so I don't think this is much of a problem). --CapitalR (talk) 17:04, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I am aware of that little oddity that you have encircled in your screen dump. But when I tried the code you suggest the box flowing breaks in both IE 5.5 and Opera 9. That was why I didn't use that code. (I tried again now to make sure.) I have no idea why that breaks the flowing in those browsers. In Opera 9 the wolf image and the shortcut box overlaps some of the cmboxes. And in IE 5.5 both the wolf image and the shortcut box becomes invisible, but they can still be clicked! Gah! I hate browser bugs.
But even when having that little overlap the contents inside the boxes still get the right padding when using "border-collapse:separate;".
So to me it seems more robust to use -1px margin both top and bottom.
--David Göthberg (talk) 17:36, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Ah, now I see why you went with the margin on the top and bottom. So, yeah, your code does seem to work best (and I doubt that tiny display bug will be in very many pages). --CapitalR (talk) 18:23, 8 May 2008 (UTC)


Would it be a good idea to consider a more goldish background for full protection and a more silvery one for semi protection? Just an idea...... Dendodge.TalkHelp 15:18, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

The protection templates, which will be handled by updating {{pp-meta}} (which David Göthberg, Happy-melon, and I designed, so it should be a breeze for us to implement), already change their icons for the different levels and types of protection. I figure that this is probably enough to determine the protection level at a glance, and it would be, to be blunt, technically annoying to make such an unnecessary distinction. Nihiltres{t.l} 15:47, 6 May 2008 (UTC)


How close are we to being ready to implement this template? I think there's still a fair amount of discussion to be had over at {{imbox}}, but we seem to be pretty much done here, and having some delay between the two implementations wouldn't go amiss, from a server-load perspective. Thoughts on what else needs doing? Happymelon 15:46, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, see section Double border lines above, we might have new better code that needs some testing and discussion.
--David Göthberg (talk) 16:22, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Ah Ok; definitely looks like there's some bugs to iron out there, and no rush of course (I'm just bored having cleared my watchlist and CAT:EP earlier :D). Happymelon 18:06, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
If you are bored, I can give you work. Easy and template-related. Seriously, drop in my talk page and we can talk. Waltham, The Duke of 19:27, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
I have copied the new code to {{cmbox}}. Now we don't get any double borders between boxes in any browsers (as far as we know). And it allows using large images on the right side. Please everyone have a look at Template:Cmbox/testcases and see that it looks okay in your browsers.
I think this might be the code we will deploy!
--David Göthberg (talk) 01:14, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
I have copied and adapted the documentation from ambox, so now cmbox has full documentation. I say we are ready to deploy!
--David Göthberg (talk) 20:27, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Wahey!! Count me in on the server mayhem :D! For the record, the job queue as of 20:58, 9 May 2008 (UTC) is about 19,000 <evil laugh/>. Is there a comprehensive list of templates that need converting? Or are we just going to surf the categories and convert as we go along? Happymelon 20:58, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, the job queue today has been below 100 part of the day, and we can't have it that way! ;)
By the way, here's some interesting numbers: I modified the {{shortcut}} template today which is used on about 11,000 pages. The job queue immediately jumped from below 100 to about 11,100. It took about 5 minutes for it to be back below 100.
No, I am not aware of any comprehensive list. The subpages of Wikipedia:Template messages of course list some of the category message boxes. And yes, as you point out hopefully many of the templates are listed in some categories. But actually, I don't think there are that many category message boxes around. But I am curios to see how many people will find.
--David Göthberg (talk) 21:34, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
So, we just... do it... ?... But where are the trumpeters, the parades, the rolls of red carpet? :D Happymelon 21:37, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Haha, well, I am going to fix the documentation for imbox now, so in about 1-2 hours imbox will be ready to deploy too. How about we change the watchlist notice then? That would be a pretty big announcement! And add information about that we are deploying to the messages we already have about this project at the Village pumps and so on.
And once we start converting the boxes you will see the amount of people that will pop in on these talk pages saying: "Why are you changing the boxes, I wasn't informed, why didn't you announce this?" That is usually pretty fun.
--David Göthberg (talk) 22:02, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Aw shucks, I'm going to miss the fun! I'm going as soon as I've figured out what's so hopelessly inefficient about the templates on List of Baryons, and then I won't be back until ~1400 UTC tomorrow. <crawls into corner> Happymelon 22:33, 9 May 2008 (UTC)


Hold on folks... I see there's a truckload of inline CSS in the template, using a lot of server intensive #switch selectors to implement it. I'd feel better putting the CSS in common.css. EdokterTalk 21:47, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

We are going to put that CSS into MediaWiki:Common.css. But even when we have done that we can not use that CSS for 30 days since the style sheets are cached in web browsers for 30 days. So we are cheating with hard coded styles for now. Besides, there will be just as many switch selectors in the code when we change to using the CSS classes, since those switch selectors will then be used to select which CSS class to use for which box type. Take a look at the code for {{ambox}} to see how it will look.
--David Göthberg (talk) 21:59, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Might it be better to wait until the thirty days have elapsed before deploying {{cambox}} and {{imbox}}? I see no urgency that justifies an extra changeover for each.
This issue warrants additional discussion, so please hold off for now. —David Levy 22:41, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Conversely, I don't see any serious benefit to waiting the 30 days - the only advantage to having the CSS classes instituted is that the templates are immediately skinnable. Happymelon 23:01, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
The benefit would be that we would avoid hitting the servers with updates of two high-use templates. —David Levy 23:08, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Actually, there doesn't seem to be that many different category message boxes. And not all categories use such message boxes. So I don't think this meta-template will be used on that many pages. And I sure hope we don't have as many categories as we have articles, right? Any one know how many categories we have?
And I want this code tested on real pages since there is an improvement in it that I would like to copy to ambox after some time. (Cmbox has no double lines between the boxes in any web browser as far as we know.)
Besides, we updated ambox and navbox last week with just about 24 hours in between. Together they are used on almost 1 million pages. And we had no problems at all. So I am not as hesitant of applying updates as I used to be. (Of course, we still should be careful with high-use templates like that.)
And then there is the human side of it: If we have to wait one month then most of the enthusiastic editors who discussed at these talk pages won't be around to do the conversions. So I really want to deploy both cmbox and imbox right now.
--David Göthberg (talk) 01:33, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
I suggest that you at least wait to deploy {{imbox}}, as there still is active/recent discussion regarding its specifics. Deploying only {{cmbox}} would provide a sufficient (and arguably more prudent) code test. —David Levy 02:06, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
You might be right, we will anyway be busy with deploying cmbox for some day.
--David Göthberg (talk) 16:10, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Speedy image[edit]

To help distinguish between Speedy and Normal deletions at a glance, in addition to the border, I have created Image:Ambox speedy delete.png, which comes out as: Ambox speedy delete.png. What do you think?...... Dendodge .. TalkHelp 17:13, 8 May 2008 (UTC) --...... Dendodge .. TalkHelp 17:17, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Hmm, personally I see what you're getting at, but I think that it makes my screen look dirty/blurry, or looks like an error in the image. I'm going to have to disagree with this change. --CapitalR (talk) 17:25, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, it's not perfect but I knocked it up in 2 minutes. If it gets a good enough response as an idea, I'll make a better version...... Dendodge .. TalkHelp 17:34, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Hahaha, hilarious, love it! But I have to agree with CapitalR, I don't think we should use something like that. I think red border, pink background, red triangle with exclamation mark, and a whole page of warning text (which makes them really BIG boxes) already is enough.
--David Göthberg (talk) 18:02, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Per Davidgothberg: hilarious, but no. Happymelon 18:07, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
At first I thought there was a problem with my laptop... Then I thought it was probably the browser... Before reading, I decided it was my slow Internet connection's fault. It looks like a bloody smudge... But I do have an idea.
Although not useful here (Mr Göthberg is perfectly right: the templates stand out on their own), I could consider a smudgy padlock for move-protected pages. Much more intuitive. (That, or a padlock on wheels.) Waltham, The Duke of 19:24, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Instead of a "padlock on wheels", what about a Wheel clamp for move protection? --Random832 (contribs) 15:07, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Nice, but I don't think it would be very accessible, especially for people with lower visual acuity. Guettarda (talk) 06:34, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Tricky message boxes[edit]

We are now deploying the {{cmbox}}. That is, feel free to convert any message boxes used on category pages to use the cmbox. But when you do so you might stumble on some tricky cases. Then list them here and we'll help you!

For instance, you might find protected templates that only admins can edit. Then please don't do {{editprotected}} requests for them, instead list them here. Several admins that are interested in this are watching this page.

And you will probably find boxes for which you are not sure which type (colour) to use. Then list them here and we'll discuss them.

--David Göthberg (talk) 21:46, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

{{Wikipedia category}}[edit]

I attempted to restore the centring of the text, and not only did that not work, I lost the background shading. Help? : ) - jc37 02:53, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I "fixed" it. Though now I'm wondering why the 2 different things for "style" were made. (In other words, why the change in syntax.) - jc37 02:56, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, your first mistake was that the style/textstyle parameters should not have quotation marks. But you fixed that.
I assume that by "2 different things" you mean the two "style" and "textstyle" parameters? Well, the "style" parameter is used for the whole box. Like setting outer borders and background, although that one can usually be used to set the styles for the text cell too. But some text style settings could cause unwanted effects in the image cells, so therefore we have the "textstyle" parameter that only affects the text cell.
--David Göthberg (talk) 03:09, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Oh ok, that makes sense. Could that be clarified in the DOC? (And thank you : ) - jc37 03:16, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
I have updated the "complex example" to show the correct way of using the parameters. That example was written at ambox way before we added the "textstyle" parameter. Don't know if we should do more than that, I find the parameter explanations pretty clear.
--David Göthberg (talk) 13:17, 10 May 2008 (UTC)


It is an mentioned in the main page here as an example for style class, yet it is still in the old style. I cannot edit it, for it is protected. So far I have edited {{verylarge}} and {{categoryredirect}}, and I have changed the image of {{Categorisation of people disputed}} to the default; I really don't like that hand. I've also edited {{Cfdnotice}}, but I the list won't show the differences. I've purged the cache, and I've even tried a dummy edit, but nothing has happened. I wonder if it is just a matter of time.

On another note, where are we supposed to use central alignment? Any pointers? I've seen that it looks well in one template with three separate lines, but in the other cases left alignment seems better.

Anyway, this wraps Wikipedia:Template messages/Category namespace. Very few message boxes there... Now it's the turn of the relevant categories, I suppose, although the search will be a tedious one. Waltham, The Duke of 09:31, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I have fixed {{popcat}}.
I see you guys made {{verylarge}} yellow and {{CatDiffuse}} blue. I had been thinking of making them purple "move" coloured, but perhaps you are right about yellow and blue for them, since it is not the category itself that should be moved but only its content.
I agree with you choosing the default icon for {{Categorisation of people disputed}}, much better.
I reverted your conversion of {{Cfdnotice}} since that template goes on talk pages, so it should be talk page brown.
Yes, it will be tedious to find the rest of the category message boxes. But I noticed that {{Verylarge}} lists a bunch of category templates in its documentation, and I found this category: Category:Category namespace templates. I think all category templates should be marked with that category or one of its subcategories.
--David Göthberg (talk) 12:48, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Oops... Over-zealous, sorry.
I think CatDiffuse should be blue, because it says "when appropriate". It is a permanent notice, not an indication that there is a problem at that moment. Waltham, The Duke of 15:11, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
I forgot to comment on text alignment: I prefer left aligned since I use 800x600 in screen resolution. But for those with large screen resolutions short messages look better centred. So I think it is a matter of personal taste.
--David Göthberg (talk) 16:14, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
You are such a disappointment... :-D
I think I agree: it would probably be better if we used central alignment just for short sentences and left-aligned the rest. If we could adhere to this simple practice, there would be acceptable standardisation and we should still have message boxes looking well in most monitors. Waltham, The Duke of 13:05, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
Ah, thanks, that's what I meant but didn't know how to say clearly. Let's do as Waltham just explained.
--David Göthberg (talk) 13:21, 11 May 2008 (UTC)
I think we can leave that to the discernment of those updating. But for the most part, centring would seem to be the way to go. Template:Wikipedia parent category for example. On the converse ones like the cfd/cfr/cfm/etc. should obviously be left aligned. So, I think this is more a case-by-case basis. - jc37 18:47, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Automatic categorising[edit]

Check out the meta-template {{category other}} and how I used it in for instance the code for {{CatDiffuse}}.

The templates at Wikipedia:Template messages/Category namespace used to add a lot of categories to the bottom of that page. Now instead they have a text under them stating: "This template should only be used on category pages."

This will prevent that any pages that demonstrate or list those templates (often user pages) will end up in the categories that those templates auto-add. So I think it is better to use {{category other}} than the <includeonly> tags.

--David Göthberg (talk) 16:34, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Cmbox CSS classes[edit]

I have now added the cmbox CSS classes to MediaWiki:Common.css.

Due to caching of the style sheet in the web browsers we can not use these classes in the cmbox template until 13 June. Until then cmbox has to continue to use hardcoded styles. But we can use the classes for testing in the {{cmbox/sandbox}}.

If anyone wants to have a look at the classes they are easier to view and there is some explanation at MediaWiki talk:Common.css#Ambox, imbox and cmbox.

--David Göthberg (talk) 02:52, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

The month is over, please copy the contents of {{cmbox/sandbox}} to {{cmbox}}. —Ms2ger (talk) 20:13, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Hang on a moment. I will check and test your new code and check when we last changed the classes before we do the change to the template.
--David Göthberg (talk) 15:11, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Sorry for taking so long. (Been busy with the dance girls.) I have now checked things. Ms2ger is right, the proper CSS classes have now been deployed at MediaWiki:Common.css with no changes for 30 days. (I had mixed things up, I was thinking of the changes I did to the imbox classes some week ago.) And the code Ms2ger suggests is correct. But I added back the "default" case to the code since that is more robust when people skin the boxes. And I moved the "plainlinks" class up since I think that is more readable. But that is just a matter of taste. See the new code at {{cmbox/sandbox}} and how it behaves at {{Cmbox/testcases}}.
So, I think we are ready to deploy it. I'll wait a day before I deploy it just in case.
--David Göthberg (talk) 20:57, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

☑Y Done - The {{cmbox}} is now using the cmbox CSS classes in MediaWiki:Common.css, which means it is now fully skinnable. --David Göthberg (talk) 13:41, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Table overlaps cmbox[edit]

Yes check.svg Resolved.

I stumbled across Category:Images employing ClearType and noticed that the table (which has the two images in it) overlaps the cmbox template by a pixel. I am using FF3b5. Not a huge deal, but a little distracting. It seems to be specific to cmbox followed immediately by a table. - AWeenieMan (talk) 19:52, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Same effect on IE7. Happymelon 20:46, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, this is from the margin-bottom being set to -1px to keep a 1px border between the boxes (see lengthy discussion above). I'll take a look again at different CSS options to see if there's a way to get the 1px border without using margin-bottom. --CapitalR (talk) 20:50, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, most other boxes like infoboxes do have a top margin, so in most cases this doesn't happen. But if you use some other box or element below a cmbox that does not set a top margin then just add an extra newline. Its a MediaWiki feature: Two newlines causes some extra space between two lines or items.
I applied that simple fix to that category page.
--David Göthberg (talk) 22:28, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I know how to fix it. It was more just an "in the wild" example of where the clever CSS tricks affected an existing page adversely. Again, it's not a big deal, but I thought I would draw attention to the potential problem. - AWeenieMan (talk) 22:14, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Add some top and bottom margin[edit]

I think we should add some top and bottom margin to the {{cmbox}}. I have now seen the cmbox in use for some time and I think it is slightly confusing and ugly when several category message boxes stack tightly together. It makes it less obvious that they are separate messages.

See for instance Category:Images that should be in SVG format. (Not the worst example, but right now I couldn't find the really nasty cases.)

Also, adding some margin will solve problems of the kind that AWeenieMan pointed out above. The boxes currently do stack too tightly against other content, especially other boxes that also do not use margins.

Here's an example:

Some text in between.

Some text below.

--David Göthberg (talk) 07:31, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

I have to say, I agree, even though it will leave {{ambox}} as the only box in the series that stacks, which is a shame, in a way. But it does look better, certainly when you have multiple boxes of the same type adjacent to each other. Happymelon 09:16, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
On the other hand, it offers {{ambox}} yet another element of general differentiation. That's not a bad thing in my book, as long as we can ensure that stacking survives there and does not become extinct as an evolutionary trait. :-) As I see it, the reason why stacking looks good in the mainspace but not here is because of the use of colour—while in {{ambox}} there are only thin, grey lines separating white(ish) backgrounds, here we are dealing with large, solid surfaces of colour which can be overwhelming when united into alliances and empires of templated information. Actually, there is a precedent: we have decided that we do not want {{tmbox}} to stack, and it is similar in terms of colour-usage (at least the notice type, which the vast majority of the templates uses).
Bottom line, I support the change. Waltham, The Duke of 08:18, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
☑Y Done - I have updated the cmbox code in MediaWiki:Common.css. The new top and bottom margin will become visible to users as their web browser's cache times out and they reload the CSS file. (Which means some will see it today, others not until 31 days from now.)
--David Göthberg (talk) 17:11, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Hard to find: Category & better name needed[edit]

Whoa... I had a terrible time finding this template. The only reason I didn't give up was because I knew for certain that it existed -- I just couldn't recall the name! So it would really help if it was listed in Category:Category namespace templates. (Not being an admin, I couldn't do it myself.)

What might help even more would be a better name, something that might actually hint at it's use, rather than the current unduly cryptic name. I rather liked the old name (Catbox), which had the virtue of imparting a hint of what it was for. I suppose Catmessbox wouldn't fly, either. :) So how about Catmsgbox (or at least Catmbox)? Cgingold (talk) 02:24, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Ah, good category suggestion. So I added the template as the main item in that category (listed as the first item).
And so you know next time: Most protected templates have a green doc box, and that one is on a separate /doc subpage and is not protected. Categories and interwikis are added to the /doc page, so you can add them yourself. Just click the [edit] button at the top right corner of the green doc box.
Yeah, I wanted to call it "catbox" but as I have seen before, most Wikipedia editors prefer as short template names as is possible. As you can see at the first section of this talk page we had a poll and unfortunately the majority wanted the shorter "cmbox".
--David Göthberg (talk) 08:35, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

New code for the left image cell[edit]

I would like to change the code for the left image cell so it works the same as for the tmbox/imbox/ombox/fmbox. That is so it allows images any size. My main reason for this is that it means this template will use the same kind of template code as tmbox/imbox/ombox and the same kind of CSS code. (Currently it uses code that is somewhere between the ambox and the rest of the mboxes.) This will also save some code size in MediaWiki:Common.css, which will mean faster page load for visitors to Wikipedia.

We originally choose the fixed cell size for the left image so that when several of these boxes are stacked on top of each other the left border of the text in the text cell will line up neatly. However it is fairly unusual that a category has several of these boxes. And since then we have added some space between these boxes when they stack, thus how the text aligns isn't as visible anymore.

Another reason was to prevent abuse of the left image. However as we now have seen for the tmbox/imbox/ombox people don't abuse the left image and never insert huge images there.

If/when we do this change I intend to hard-code the margins in the template for 31 days. Otherwise it will look pretty bad for many users due to that the Wikipedia CSS files are set to cache for 31 days in the web browsers. (This is our standard solution when doing updates to the CSS code.) Thus the transition will be smooth.

--David Göthberg (talk) 18:57, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Go for it - I never really did understand why we had bespoke code for this in the first place. Happymelon 09:52, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, it started with the ambox: It was popular demand to have the text line up in the amboxes, and to refuse any images larger than 52px wide. And the last few times it have come up for discussion most people still wanted to have it that way for the ambox.
Then we reused that code in the cmbox (and for some time in the imbox). But in the cmbox case you can mostly blame me since I am the one that defended it. Mostly since I was afraid people would otherwise use huge images there. I see now that that is not the case, so I was wrong. The few cases of larger image use I see in tmbox/imbox/ombox have good reasons for the larger images.
So this is mostly about correcting my earlier mistake. I just wanted a second opinion before I went ahead. Thanks.
--David Göthberg (talk) 16:41, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
☑Y Done - I have changed the cmbox code so it now can handle images any size on the left side too. And I have removed the cmbox specific cell padding code from MediaWiki:Common.css, so it will instead use the same padding code as most of the other mboxes. To make the transition smooth I added hard-coded padding in the cmbox template code. (This also means it can handle larger images immediately.) The hard-coded padding can be removed from cmbox on 4 November 2008.
--David Göthberg (talk) 17:53, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Category proposal[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Message box categories. Thanks. Dragons flight (talk) 07:00, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Add small parameter[edit]

{{editprotected}} Some of the {{cmbox}} family of templates would be better off with being small and to the right. In order to allow this functionality I think the line :

| small = {{{small|}}}

needs to added. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 20:12, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

I'd instinctively disagree, although I'm open to persuasion. Can you give some examples of cmboxes that you think would benefit from being small? Happymelon 18:49, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Off the top of my head I would say {{cat diffuse}} and {{container cat}} would be better off being small. They are awfully intrusive. Think about it from the point of a reader. A reader comes across a category with a huge banner across the page that detracts from the actual content that they are there to read. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 18:56, 12 September 2011 (UTC)


Please see centralised discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Article message boxes#Classes. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:22, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

Switch of mbox templates and category handler to Lua[edit]

I've made a request over at Template talk:Mbox about switching all of the {{mbox}} family templates, plus the {{category handler}} template, to use Lua modules. These templates have millions of transclusions, so I would appreciate comments and some more eyes on the code. Please let me know what you think over at the request page. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 15:10, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

The proposed changes are now up live - this template has been switched to use Module:Message box. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 12:58, 20 October 2013 (UTC)